At the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Terence Crawford put in a punch perfect, near-flawless performance against Viktor Postol, dominating the action en route to becoming one of boxing’s smartest, dynamic fighters. Crawford’s Unanimous Decision came from telling scores of 118-107 twice and 117-108, which took into account two knockdowns in the 5th round. Here at BB we saw the action almost a complete shutout at 119-106, although another round for Postol could be argued.
Crawford, who now becomes the Junior Welterweight division’s undisputed front-runner, moves up to 29 wins, no defeats, 20 knockouts, while Postol drops to 28 wins, 1 defeat, 12 knockouts. Crawford leaves Vegas with two pieces of the 140 pound crown, that being his fourth-time-defended WBO title, and newly acquired WBC variety.
The way Crawford vs Postol unfolded, not to mention the one-sided nature of this bout, was plenty surprising. Most of us knew Crawford was a level above Postol in the skills department, but it turns out he was in fact several. This pair may have been the Top 2 Junior Welterweights in the world, but it was clear there was a gulf in ability between them not long after the first bell.
Crawford neutralized Postol’s main weapon, the spearing jab, by circling the ring, keeping his distance, and constantly changing direction. In short, Postol was basically reduced to a one-handed fighter, something Crawford acknowledged post fight. It’s not that Postol was flat or doesn’t belong at the top end of the 140 table; he simply encountered a major conundrum in Crawford he just couldn’t crack.
Postol came to fight, sure, but was pretty much chasing shadows all night, and it wasn’t long before he was frustrated with the elusive, constant movement of Crawford who came out on top in just about every department. In fairness, there was little Postol could actually do with this kind of opponent; when Postol tried to cut off the ring and find Crawford with the jab, he was swiftly tagged by mean counters, and when Postol would finally let his hands go he came off second in exchanges.
Postol was never seriously hurt by Crawford, but was often nailed with big shots he never saw coming. And Crawford’s speed, unpredictability and awkward angles was much to thank for that. Postol was dropped twice in the fight, taking two knees in the 5th round, first from a right to the temple, and then from a left to the jaw. From this point on, Postol was all the more cautious about getting off first, and really, who can blame the guy?
Postol’s trainer Freddie Roach had spoken of how the fight would be beaten out of Crawford, but it was quite the opposite that took place. Postol wasn’t significantly beaten up in the physical sense, but his heart did seem to break on more than one occasion, something that could be seen when a befuddled looking Postol would suddenly stop in his tracks to take a break from chasing Crawford.
Postol’s frustration seemed to finally hit boiling point in the 11th, with an angry right hand to the back of Crawford’s head costing him a point. To his credit, Postol came out firing in the 12th as he tried to blast out Crawford. Postol did land with some decent shots, probably enjoyed his best round of the fight, but was unable to find a game-changing punch. Crawford, despite his ceaseless movement, was still surprisingly fresh, and, as we’ve seen in previous fights, responded with firepower when pressured.
Crawford is now most likely expected to face Manny Pacquiao in early November. Pacquiao may not be quite the force he once was, but the Filipino legend is the kind of marquee name Crawford needs to become the next big thing in boxing. Top Rank chief Bob Arum has lofty plans for his future PPV star, and with Manny Pacquiao already in his stable, I’ve no serious doubts about this fight taking place. We’ll soon see.
What’s your take on Crawford vs Postol and how would a potential clash with Pacquiao unfold?